Diana Nyad Swimming 2 Days Straight to Raise Money for Hurricane Sandy Relief

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2013

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 13:  Swimmer Diana Nyad speaks onstage during the 30th Annual Salute To Women In Sports Awards at The Waldorf=Astoria on October 13, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for the Women�s Sports Foundation)
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Diana Nyad, who made headlines last month after becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective cage, has already started her next feat of endurance. The 64-year-old is swimming for two straight days in Manhattan to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief. 

NBC New York provides the details, which includes an already impressive donation total:

Nyad began swimming in a specially installed 120-foot, two lane pool in Herald Square at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, and she'll keep swimming until 8:30 a.m. Thursday to raise money for the AmeriCares nonprofit health and disaster organization, according to the event’s website.

So far, contributions have topped $40,000.

The report also states Ryan Lochte and Richard Simmons are among the notable individuals expected to join Nyad during the 48-hour marathon swim. Her 110-mile trip from Cuba to Florida took around 53 hours, albeit in less controlled conditions.

Nyad made four previous attempts to complete the historic swim, dating back to 1978. She fell short each time, which led to little coverage when her fifth try began. However, attention started to build as it became clear she might finally reach the United States.

On Sept. 2, she arrived in Key West to finish the journey.

Although the New York native faced a wave of skepticism about the validity of her swim, she has maintained that she did not receive any outside help during the historic trek. 

Nyad may never convince all of the naysayers, but using her name recognition to raise awareness is more important in the grand scheme of things. “I don't want to forget them,” Nyad said, per NBC New York. “I don't want to forget any people who have been through disaster.”

Her charitable swim will come to an end on Thursday morning.